From The Pastor's Wife

"She Maketh

By Liz Graf

"She [M]aketh [H]erself [C]overings"

   Women who are in sound, independent
fundamental Baptist churches ought to know how
to dress according to Bible standards.   No doubt
your pastor has preached about the biblical prin-
ciples for proper, modest dressing and if you are
saved, you quite naturally agree with him.   I
John 5:3, "For this is the love of God, that we
keep His cornmandments: and his command-
ments are not grievous
  Psalm 119:165, "Great
peace have they which love thy law and nothing
shall offend them
  We understand that, while
we do live in this world, God wants His people
to stand out and be different and not to use our
own standard to determine our dress, but to use
God's standard.   For example, once we are
saved, it doesn't take us long to understand that
God considers it an abomination for a woman to
dress like a man (Deuteronomy 22:5).   Early in
our Christian lives then, we put away our pants
and all of our excuses for wearing them (i.e. it's
cold, I'm going horseback riding, I just wear
them around the house, etc.)   After all, who
wants to dress like an abomination in God's
sight?   So, we replaced our Levi's with dresses,
skirts, and culottes.   We also understand that in
order to be modest in God's eyes, our dresses,
skirts, and culottes need to fall below our
knees-- for any part exposed above the knee is
considered nakedness in the eyes of God.   (Isaiah
47:2,3 "...make bare the leg, uncover the
thigh, ...Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea,
thy shame shall be seen...."
  Webster's dictio-
nary defines the thigh as being the portion of the
leg between the hip and the knee.   (Another verse
that defines nakedness as an exposed thigh is
Exodus 28:42).
   I'm sure it is of utmost importance to those
of you who are reading this article to know that
your dress is well-pleasing to the Lord.   So just
to be absolutely sure we are obedient in all areas
of dress, let us review and examine our philoso-
phy of dress to make sure we can align our-
selves with the Word of God.
   I have observed among independent Baptist
women a certain naivete of sorts when it comes

to wearing dresses-- an unspoken philosophy
which seems to say, "As long as I'm wearing a
dress, I must be scriptural."
  Yet, there are
many types and styles of dresses that are every
bit as immodest and revealing as a pair of tight
Levi's would be!   I purposely chose the title of
this article from Proverbs 31 because of the
word covering.   A covering means to clothe or
enwrap.   The virtuous woman covered herself.
(And from the text we see that she covered
herself beautifully: tapestry, silk, and purple!)
We see how in the Bible God designed clothes
three times and all three times He designed
coverings.   In the Garden of Eden God made
coats for Adam and Eve to wear.   A coat is not
a sleek, tight, body-revealing sort of apparel, is
it?   It does not accentuate any part of the body
nor draw attention to any one place.   When you
wear a coat, you are simply covered.   The next
time the Lord designed clothes was for the high
priest's attire.   They wore long robes with linen
britches underneath the robe.   A robe is not an
"attention grabbing" article of clothing, is it?   I
mean, if you and your husband were going out
of town on a romantic little getaway, what
would his response be if you cuddled up next to
him and whispered, "Honey, I want you to
know that I'll be bringing my floor-length,
long-sleeved, fuzzy, pink robe on this trip!"

(Well, in the first place, he may have already
fainted because you actually cuddled up to
... but that's another article!)   If you were
really trying to get his attention, I think you
could leave the robe home.   A robe, like a coat,
was not designed to bring attention to anything
on the body, but rather it is used for a covering.
Also in the book of Revelation, we read of
God's design for our heavenly attire: white
robes.   Every time the Lord God designed
clothes, it was for the purpose of clothing the
body in a decent and modest way.

** Serious Question **

   Here I have composed several questions for
you to ask yourself concerning the way you

   1. Are you attracted to the world's latest
and do you try to dress accordingly?
   2. Do you dress to show off, or draw atten-
tion to, certain part of your figure? (i.e., small
waist, long legs, etc.)
   3. Do you usually wear form-fitting clothes?
   4. Are your culottes nothing more than "long
or "short pants"?
   5. Do your skirts come exactly to your knee
and do those skirts have slits in them?
   6. Do you get as close to the world's way of
dressing as you can possibly get away with?
   7. On the other hand, do you purposely dress
dowdy and frumpy to appear more "holy" than
those around you? (i.e., Amish style-- plain,
head coverings like you just popped out of a
thrift shop window.)
   8. Do you wear things that may be "see
and excuse it with the fact that you're
wearing a slip (so if anyone sees anything,
they'll "just see my slip.")

** A Note to Mothers of Daughters **

   1. Do you allow your daughter to wear
form-fitting, figure-flattering clothes just because
she may look "cute" or have a "good figure"?
   2. Are you mindful to teach your daughter
how to dress modestly, and do you check her
wardrobe regularly to be sure she is doing so?
(This is your responsibility, Mom.)
   3. Do you allow your daughter to indulge in
worldly attire simply because she is young and
it is "in style"?

   If you answered "yes" to any of these ques-
tions, then you have set up your own dress stan-
dards and you need to question your own mo-
tives for doing so.
   Now I want to mention a word that is not
often used in discussing our wardrobes, and that
is the word balance.   I personally believe that we
as modern day Christian women must have Holy
Spirit leadership in our lives, and must exercise
good discretion and balance in choosing what we
will wear.   This is not to say that we need to
find a happy medium between the world's stan-

dards and God's standards.   Nothing could be
farther from the truth.   However, we are three
years away from the 21st century.   We do not
use horse and buggies to come to church, nor do
I do my laundry down at the Sayville beach.   My
girls and I do not wear bonnets and prairie
dresses like "Ma" on "Little House" and my
husband does not dress like Moses or Joshua
did.   Why?   Because those things no longer
pertain to our culture.   So where does balance
apply?   God never says that it is a sin for the leg
below the knee to show.   So I can wear skirts
and dresses below my knees and yet they do not
have to be to the ground.   I do not want to be
poured into them in such a way that I can no
longer breathe once the skirt is on, and I would
still like to be able to move and sit down in what
I wear!   So I will avoid tight, form-fitting,
worldly clothes, but I will choose clothes that
look sharp, fit well, and cover me.   There's
nothing wrong with looking clean and pretty and
sharp!   We should stand out as pleasingly differ-
ent, not ostentatious or weird.
   Here are some basic rules that we need to
measure our dress standards by:
   1. Never try to "Christianize" the world's
dress and make it your own.   (Some ladies who
live in jean skirts, for example, wear them every
bit as tight as they used to wear their jeans!   The
idea behind wearing dresses and skirts was to
make certain parts of your body literally
   2. Open, low necklines, sleeveless tops and
dresses, short and slit skirts and dresses, tight,
slinky, form-fitting attire and pants or shorts,
have no place in a Christian woman's wardrobe.
(You might say, "Sleeveless?!   Oh, come on!"
Ever notice what advertisers say about "bare"
shoulders?   Words like sexy, soft, and alluring
are always right there.)
   3. Culottes were invented in order to give a
lady the freedom to move around-- i.e., garden-
ing, cleaning, bike riding, etc.-- and yet still
look like she has a skirt on.   If you want to wear
culottes, make sure they look like a skirt-- front
and back.

** A Word to Brides-to-be **

   I am utterly amazed and shocked when I
attend Christian weddings because of some of
the bride's gowns I have seen.   Here we have
this wonderful, sweet, little Christian girl, who
has dressed modestly and properly as long as
she's been in the church.   What happens on her
wedding day?   To quote a familiar passage-
"June is bustin' out all over!"   Please keep your
standards as high as ever on this wonderful day!
There have been brides I've been embarrassed to
look in the eye because of her immodest apparel.
   In all areas of our lives, we should try to live
godly.   Let us especially be circumspect in our
attire.   The virtuous woman has the utmost
respect for God and His Word.   So the virtuous
woman covers herself.   And her husband praises

Encouragingly yours,


   [Liz Graf is the wife of John Graf, Pastor of
the First Baptist Church, Sayville, New York.
They are the parents of Jennifer (19), John (18),
Timothy (15), and Ashley (12).]

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